Everything You Need To Know About Mabuhay Miles Program

A Beginner’s Guide to the Mabuhay Miles Program

Frequent flyer programs are what make mileage collectors. Often, they start with the program that they’re most common with. Mabuhay Miles is a frequent flyer program of Philippine Airlines. Most Filipinos who do at least a bit of research are already part of this program, especially if they travel with PAL often.

That being said, simply being a member is not enough. Serious mileage collectors should know the ins and outs of these frequent flyer programs in order to fully maximize their mileage accrual and redemption. For now, a basic guide should suffice.

We will focus on the three most accessible frequent flyer programs in the Philippines. Bear in mind that most, if not all of these programs offer free membership, but to gain access to all of their exclusive perks and benefits requires loyalty and consistency.

In this article, we will focus on the Mabuhay Miles Program. Read on to learn more!

Membership

Mabuhay Miles has 4 membership levels namely:

  1. Classic
  2. Elite
  3. Premier Elite
  4. Million Miler

Mabuhay Miles CLASSIC

Every new enrollee in the Mabuhay Miles program will default to the Classic membership. At this level, you do not have any benefits yet. However, you can start accumulating your miles and quickly rise in membership levels.

Mabuhay Miles ELITE

In order to achieve Elite status you must achieve any of the following:

  • Earn 25,000 Tier/Flight Miles on PAL and any code-share flights
  • Fly 30 one-way qualifying flights on any class of service on PAL and any code-share flights
  • Fly 15 one-way qualifying flights on Business Class on Philippine Airlines and code-share flights.

Elite members will be provided with the following benefits:

  • Tier-based bonus accrual of 25%
  • Mabuhay Lounge Access
  • Priority Check-in, Boarding, and Luggage Handling
  • Priority Airport Standby
  • Additional Luggage Allowance

Mabuhay Miles PREMIER ELITE

In order to achieve Premier Elite status, you must achieve ant of the following:

  • Earn 45,000 Tier/Flight Miles on PAL and any code-share flights
  • Fly 50 one-way qualifying flights on any class of service on PAL and any code-share flights
  • Fly 25 one-way qualifying flights on Business Class on PAL and any code-share flights

Premier Elite members will be provided with the following benefits:

  • Tier-based bonus accrual of 75% for qualifying flights to/from the U.S., Canada, and London, for all other qualifying flights, 25%.
  • Mabuhay Lounge Access
  • Priority Check-in, Boarding, and Luggage Handling
  • Priority Airport Standby
  • Additional Luggage Allowance
  • Upgrade Travel Certificates

Mabuhay Miles MILLION MILER

Only Mabuhay Miles members that have flown 1,000,000 Tier/Flights on PAL can be awarded the Million Miller status.

In essence, it’s a glorified Premier Elite Membership Status.

You get all of the benefits that Premier Elite members do, as well as a waiver on all Mabuhay Miles processing fees and 4 complimentary Upgrade Travel Certificates each year on top of any additional certificates that you may earn. 

All of this can be found on the Mabuhay Miles Website!

Mileage Accrual

The vast majority of credit cards enable cardholders to redeem Mabuhay miles. PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles credit cards are all designed to make Mabuhay miles accrual as efficient as possible. They provide welcome bonuses, milestone rewards, and exclusive discounts on select PAL international flights when booking online.

Mileage accrual through flights is also rather decent. They have a revenue-based mileage accrual chart. The rate of accrual is slightly similar to a few other revenue-based programs, but it doesn’t look that attractive. When compared with other mileage programs, it’s fairly easy to achieve the Premier Elite status, therefore, making your accrual even easier.

Here’s a link on how you can collect miles through your domestic or international flights.

The Mabuhay Miles Award Chart will be seeing a few changes between January 2020 and March 2020, so you better stay tuned!

Aside from earning miles through your flights, you can also earn miles through the many partners that PAL has. From multiple hotels around the world to car rentals, restaurants, and even casinos in the City of Dreams or Solaire!

Mileage Redemption

You can redeem Mabuhay Miles in two ways. First, you can login to the Mabuhay Miles website and book from there. They give you the option to use your miles. Or you can submit a Travel Award Redemption Form to the nearest PAL office. For better and faster service, you should book your flight through the Philippine Airlines Reservations hotline before you claim your award ticket in your preferred ticketing office.

Redeeming a flight through Mabuhay miles leads to mixed feelings. They have some inconsistencies with the quality of service. Sometimes, flight redemption can be as easy as booking a flight online, or just one phone call, while there are also those times when you will need to call over and over again to confirm certain things before you fully book your flight. The inconsistency of booking online and calling an agent feels like a raffle draw every time. One time you’ll be lucky with an experienced and well-versed agent, and the other time you’ll have the most confused agent asking what airline miles are.

Flight redemptions are fairly comparable between Mabuhay Miles, Krisflyer, and Asia Miles. With just a 500-mile difference when comparing the one-way flights between their hubs, the difference isn’t really that big of a deal. You can find the links to their Domestic and International Award Redemption charts here.

Another less likely option for members to redeem their miles is for a Resorts World Manila gift certificate. For 2000 Mabuhay Miles you can get 1 PHP500 RWM gift certificate.

That being said, loyal flyers of PAL will benefit greatly from the smallest difference between mileage redemptions that they can take advantage of.

In our experience, being a Million Miller somewhat removes all of the hassles that booking a flight can give, especially if you book it early.

Mileage Expiration

As per their website, Mabuhay miles no longer expire for active members. To be considered an active member, you must have done some of the following activities within two years:

  • Earned flight miles on PAL, codeshare, and/or other Airline Partners; and/or earned non-flight flight miles through program partners
  • Redeemed miles for flight awards or service class upgrade awards and other non-flight redemptions.
  • Bought miles
  • Received bonus miles
  • Transferred and/or received miles
  • Reinstated expired miles

Miles that have expired due to the member not being active for 2 years can be reinstated until the following year.

Co-branded Cards

PAL has partnered with the Philippine National Bank to create the PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Credit Card line. Their most efficient card is the PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles World MasterCard.

Once activated, you will get a bonus of 2,000 Mabuhay miles as a welcome gift. After using the card to pay PHP100,000 worth of transactions with PAL within 1 year of activation, the cardholder will be entitled to another 10,000 Mabuhay miles. Other perks it provides include priority check-in at PAL Business class counters at NAIA Terminal 2 and an exclusive 5% discount on select PAL international flights when you book it online.

Other versions of the credit card include the PNB-PAL Mabuhay Mile Platinum Mastercard and the PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles NOW Mastercard.

Our Thoughts

The Mabuhay miles program is one that is very close to our hearts—primarily because it’s the frequent flyer program of our country’s Airline. We’ve stuck with it ever since we started collecting miles. it’s where we started.

However, as much as it holds sentimental value, it’s not as attractive as the two other prominent frequent flyer programs in Asia. It’s overshadowed by Krisflyer, Asia Miles.

Flying PAL is always like a gamble. It’s either you get lucky and you get world-class hospitality and services or end up with a rather middle-of-the-pack crew. They have high “highs” and low “lows”. It’s exciting, thinking of what kind of service we’re going to get on a plane. But frankly, consistency is always better.

Another important note is the fact that Mabuhay miles can only be used with PAL and in certain situations ANA. Etihad was once a partner, though they’ve recently cut their ties with PAL. This makes Mabuhay miles have value only if you’re flying to and from Manila. Filipinos benefit from it greatly, but it demotivates foreigners, and those who don’t necessarily stay in the Philippines from joining, let alone maintaining their membership.

Krisflyer and Asia Miles beat Mabuhay miles when it comes to mileage value because their miles can be used to redeem flights from their many partner airlines due to airline alliances. What Mabuhay Miles does have is the support of a lot of Filipinos who have become loyal to the airline.

TL; DR

  • The Mabuhay Miles Program is the Frequent Flyer Program of Philippine Airlines
  • They have a relatively easy Mileage Accrual and Redemption system, though Mileage Value is worse compared to Asia Miles and KrisFlyer
  • Co-branded Credit Cards: PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles World, Platinum, & NOW MasterCard
  • We think they’re great for loyalists
  • Miles being used only for PAL hurts their value and versatility

Closing Statement

The Mabuhay Miles Program is one of your average frequent flyer programs that rewards you with decent perks and benefits. Loyal PAL fliers will enjoy being a part of this the most.

However, for mileage collectors who like diversity in their flights, Mabuhay Miles will be a huge limit as it can only be used on PAL, and to some extent, ANA. Rumor has it that PAL is planning on joining one of the Airline Alliances and if that turns out to be Sky Team, then their value will skyrocket.

That being said, Mabuhay Miles is still an exclusive FFP with no airline partners. And as long as this is true, it will only be beneficial for frequent flyers of PAL.

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